JDE Integration with eCommerce
Among the many initiatives an organization undertakes in any given year, an eCommerce project can be one of the most challenging. Connecting and integrating an eCommerce system to a large and stable JD Edwards implementation may only further complicate the project. While the integration effort can be one of the most difficult parts of any implementation initiative, the results can be astounding. With a robust and efficient strategy that includes data flow, business logic and an integration methodology, eCommerce integration projects can deliver tremendous business value both to the organization and to the end customer.
Thanks to our experience and established processes, our team is exceptionally successful in understanding these challenges.
Creating Support and Alignment within the organization
The first tactic in a successful eCommerce initiative is often the most overlooked as companies charge full steam ahead — creating support in the organization. The three keys to creating support include:
Defining the eCommerce strategy
It is important to ask a few key questions up front. First, what is the site intended to do? Is it intended primarily to increase revenue, decrease costs, or improve customer satisfaction? These should be ranked in order of importance, with only one of these ranked as most important.
Engaging the Sales Team
Often the sales team, particularly in a B2B environment, sees the new eCommerce site both as competition as well as a ‘toy’ that the IT department is playing with. Of course, neither is correct, and both views can be contagious within the organization.
Defining the Leader
ECommerce projects, especially B2B, touch almost every part of the organization: Sales and Marketing, Operations, Finance, and especially IT. There must be a champion for the B2B site; naming an eCommerce director will help to drive the project through to launch. Also, this key leader will ensure that the site is nurtured and continues to grow once it has been launched.
The Golden Rules of Integration
The second tactic for a successful integration project is to follow three simple rules. These rules help to keep the integration less complex, and deliver a best of breed approach to software, systems and integration. These rules are:
There Can Only Be One Source of the Truth
The first item that should be addressed in an eCommerce integration project is to determine where each data element should be stored, and which system “owns” the data.
Put the Business Logic Where it Belongs
After it’s determined whether the e-Commerce or ERP system owns which pieces of data, consider the business logic required to process an e-Commerce order. ECommerce systems typically include functionality that is duplicated in the ERP, such as item pricing, taxing and order processing. The project team must review which system is best suited to house this logic, and determine how the other systems will access it.
Use the Best Integration Methodology Available
There are a host of integration options from which to choose, including a simple FTP process, an MQ Series, and Web Services. It’s often beneficial to use an integration methodology that is already being used, but it may make sense to change to a new technology. Regardless, over-complicating the integration makes everything that much harder, from programming it in the beginning to supporting it after go-live.
The process of integrating an eCommerce site to JD Edwards has many moving parts. In executing any integration project, planning, organizing and documenting a strategy allows for a much smoother project. So, measure twice, cut once, and keep things simple. Contact us if you need assistance.